Facebook censorship. We’ve all seen it -- the controversies over images of women breastfeeding, classical art depicting nude figures, and breast cancer survivors, among others. We navigate this carefully on our CRAVE Facebook page to make sure we don’t run afoul of the ever-shifting boundaries, but I never imagined that my work at CRAVE would result in Facebook censoring a line of coat hooks I designed!
I have been an industrial designer my entire career. I received my undergrad in Industrial Design at Georgia Institute of Technology and my masters at the prestigious Royal College of Art in London in Design Products. I’ve honed my skills at large corporations working on consumer products and home accessories such as hair brushes for Goody, bicycles for Trek, and modern furniture and accessories exhibited at Milan and IMM cologne fair.
When I graduated from RCA, I exhibited my cheeky Knife Hooks (pictured above) at my final show. I’ve now sold these handmade coat hooks for a number of years through design sites such as Fab.com, ThinkGeek.com, TouchofModern.com, Bezar.com, and MikMak among others. I’ve since expanded the line to include Knife Magnets, and continue to manage this as a fun side project in parallel with my work at CRAVE. I set up my new DesignHustler site and Facebook page to promote my home decor line, and decided to purchase a Facebook ad to spread the word.
Imagine my surprise when I received the message pictured above.
Now I can’t imagine that Blake of Facebook really thinks these hooks and magnets are adult toys, which brings up issues I can’t comment on and that they should probably speak to trained professionals about. So it appears because of my day job designing elevated adult toys, I am being blacklisted by Facebook from ever promoting anything else I design -- even if it has nothing to do with adult toys. It is alarming that a powerful platform like Facebook would decide that because I design sex toys, I am not worthy to utilize their ads to promote anything else I design. These are coat hooks and fridge magnets, people. My Facebook DesignHustler page clearly articulates that is a “home decor” brand founded by yours truly and I share my bio as any designer would.
It is not uncommon for designers to work on a variety of products and projects -- should Facebook be able to decided that once a person has designed certain genres of products they can just be blacklisted from the marketplace?
With great power comes great responsibility. Come on, Facebook. You can do better.
Ti Chang is the co-founder and VP Design of CRAVE, and runs DesignHustler in her spare time.